How to develop self confidence

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Anupama Nair


What is confidence? Confidence is a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something. It is said “confidence can be a tough thing to build up”. Not everyone is born with an inbuilt sense of self-confidence. Sometimes it can be hard to develop confidence, either because personal experiences have caused you to lose confidence or because you suffer from low self-esteem.

A confident person:

  • does what they believe is right, even if it’s unpopular
  • is willing to take risks
  • admits their mistakes and learns from them
  • is able to accept a compliment
  • is optimistic.

Now you need to understand, what is self-confidence?  “Self-confidence is an attitude you get about skills and abilities. In simple terms it means that you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life. You know your strengths and weakness as well, however, you should have only positive view of yourself. You set realistic expectations and goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism positively”.

On the flip side, low self-confidence makes you feel full of self-doubt, be passive or submissive, and have difficulty in trusting others. You may feel inferior, unloved, or be sensitive to criticism. In fact, feeling confident in yourself might depend on the situation. For instance, you can feel very confident in some areas, such as academics, but lack confidence in others, like relationships or public speaking.

Having high or low self-confidence is very rarely related to your actual abilities, and is instead mostly based on your perceptions of things. What are perceptions? Perceptions  are the way your think about yourself and others, and these thoughts could be flawed.

“Low self-confidence might be caused due to different experiences, you have such as growing up in an unsupportive and critical environment, or being separated from your friends or family for the first time, judging yourself too harshly, or being afraid of failure”. People with low self-confidence often have errors in their thinking.

Tips to build self-confidence:

There are a number of things you can do to increase your confidence level. Some of them just need a minor transformation to your frame of mind, while for others you’ll have to work on for a long time to make them familiar habits in your life.

Make a checklist of things you have achieved:

The first step to build confidence is you have to stop losing confidence in your abilities even if you believe you haven’t achieved anything. You need to understand, there is hardly anyone, who has not achieved anything. Make a list of all the things you’re proud of in your life, whether it’s getting a good marks in an exam or learning to sing . Keep the list close by and add to it whenever you do something you’re proud of. When you’re low in confidence, pull out the list and use it to remind yourself of all the awesome stuff you've done.

Think of things you are good at:

Everyone has strengths and talents. You need to remember what are yours and work on them! You need to recognize what you’re good at, and try to build on those things, which will increase confidence in your own abilities.

Set some goals:

You need to set some goals and make plans about the steps you need to take to achieve them. They don’t have to be big goals — they can even be things like cooking a new dish or planning a night out with family. Just aim for some small achievements that you can tick off a list to help you gain confidence in your ability to get stuff done.

Get a hobby:

Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be music, sports, reading, travelling or anything else! When you’ve worked out your passion, commit yourself to enhance your skills . Chances are, that if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity, you’re more likely to be motivated and you’ll build skills more quickly.

Some small but easy tips to build self-confidence:

  • Recognize and emphasize your strengths. Reward and praise yourself for your efforts and progress.
  • When you face an obstacle, treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Don't ever dwell on failure.
  • Set realistic and achievable goals. Do not expect perfection as it is impossible to be perfect in every aspect of life.
  • Slow down when you are feeling intense emotions and think logically about the situation.
  • Recognize that negative past life experiences do not dictate your future.
  • Express your feelings, beliefs and needs directly and respectfully
  • Learn to say no to unreasonable requests.


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